Cursing in Japanese (Swear Words We Should Avoid But Sometimes Can’t)

Let’s be honest, cursing is just one of those forms of expression that can rarely be avoided. Unless of course, you have some sort of “higher morals” than the rest of us, we as people often resort to vulgar and slanderous methods of expression in order to truly evoke our deepest thoughts and feelings.

With that being said, there is a multitude of curse words that exist throughout all human languages. From Russian to Sign Language, there will always be someone you know who was just looking to evoke a harsh verbal reaction. 

The Japanese language is no exception to this concept, as there are a number of curse words that Japanese-speaking people can use in their day-to-day lives. You might have seen these curse words in anime, foreign films or have overheard them in a heated conversation. 

Here, we will be learning some of the most common, most popular, and harsh curse words that exist within the Japanese language:

Kuso = Sh*t/F*ck

Kuso is the Japanese word for “shit”. This word would be used in the same context that English speakers would use it for. You can also see characters or actors using this word under their breath when something bad/undesirable happens.

For example, you might be running around looking for something important only to realize that you left it at home,  in which case you might say “Kuso” under your breath.

More Ways to Use “Kuso”:

You can also use this word in order to describe something. In this case, you would attach this word to a noun. 

For example, you understand that one of your Aunts has a really upsetting and annoying kid.  They reveal something even worse about this child, and all you can really say in your head is “Kuso-Gaki” which in translation means, “shitty kid”

What you might not have anticipated is that this word can also be used as an extreme definition of something that has nothing to do with the topic in question being bad. 

For example, Stating that the weather is “Kuso” might not mean that the weather is necessarily bad. Saying the weather is Kuso ”hot” would mean it is very hot. 

In sum, Kuso is a considerably versatile word. Notably, Kuso is not necessarily a word that is restricted by the person’s age, as it is not censored on Japanese TV  nor are our children reprimanded for using it.

So although it is an interchangeable term for the word English word “shit”, it is not of equal stance nor intensity.

Kuso Kurae = Eat Sh*t

Simple as that. Eat sh*t. You might use this phrase to tell someone you aren’t particularly fond of to eat literally feces. They must have done something pretty sh*tty huh? 

Fuzakeru Na = F*ck Off

This term directly translates into meaning “don’t mess around” or to “not mess with me”. Even so, when used in an extremely negative connotation, or an aggravated/aggressive circumstance, it is the equivalent of meaning to say “f*ck off. 

Fuzakenna = No F*cking Way

A term used to express something you find to be unbelievable whether positive or negative. “There’s no way this could happen!”. In fact, there’s no F*CKING way this could happen! 

Kutabare = F*ck you

Needless to say, an important piece of vocabulary no matter where you are on the planet. 

Chikushou = Damn It (two meaning see below)

This is a word that translates to the English term damn it.  this word is originally derived from words used to describe being that is not human end the spiritual/ Buddhist religion

For example, if one were to be in a competition with someone else, only to find they came in second place by just a minute difference. This person might use the word Chikushou in response to these events. 

Hence why you would be, quote, “damning” “it”. Just ask Kuso can be used casually in the case of misfortune, Chikushou can as well. Uncensored within the media and regarded with minimal intensity. 

Chikushou = Son of a B*tch (second meaning)

An extension of the term Chikushou meaning damn it, this term would be used to damn a person furthermore. You’re even bringing their mother into it.

While you might feel inclined to use this word to describe a truly awful person, it can also be used in the same way “damn it” or “shit” would be used in a sentence. 

Baka = Stupid/Idiot

Most likely one of the most common and well-known curse words within the Japanese language. This word translates to stupid in English, used towards people specifically / in most cases. 

So if you wanted to say call someone over that was inherently stupid, you might say “hurry up Baka”. 

Boke = Stupid/Fool/Clueless Individual

Much like the term Baka, this word would be used to describe a person who is not only stupid but a tad clueless overall. 

Aho = Moron

A nice word to have in your back pocket. Another word for idiot, only more intense. If you’re ever dealing with someone who is a complete and total moron, you now know how to say it in Japanese

Yaro = Bastard

Some take offense to this word, as it is not often used as simply descriptive. Though the term simply means that a boy was born of a woman without the father remaining in her life, when this word is attached to something else, it can become increasingly offensive. 

Bakayarou = Assh*le and/or Stupid Bastard

An extension of Baka, Bakayarou would be a far more intense description or name to call someone who is evidently a total idiot. 

Yatsu = Guy (Under a Negative Connotation)

This word becomes a curse word when put in certain contexts. There’s a difference between describing “those cable guys” and “the weirdos that loiter around the back of the school”.

When speaking Japanese, you might say that “oh yeah, that place is full of creeps/weirdos” you might replace the real word for creep/weirdo with the word “Yatsu”. 

Busu = Ugly Woman/Female

An offensive term for a woman that is less appealing. This is a word that, when translated, means you are talking about an ugly woman. 

Yariman = Slut

Another derogatory term is directed/used towards women. The term slut holds the same level of hatred and offensiveness in the Japanese language as it would in any other language.

Typically used to describe a woman in a negative manner, whether it be without reason or to shame her for her sexual history or promiscuity. 

Uzai = Gross/Nasty

A rude term to describe something gross or nasty. Alone, it is not a curse word, but when used with intensity, anger, or to express a person’s actions it will be regarded as such.

You could also use this term when describing someone to be obnoxiously loud. 

Geri Shiteru = “I have diarrhea”

Ironically enough, you could use the term Uzai in response to this statement. This term would be used to describe certain bowel-related issues.

Considered a curse word because it is impolite and inappropriate to say, especially in public. 

Unko Shitai = I have to poo

This term is deemed inappropriate as a result of its over-explanatory nature. No one wants to know what you have to do, just go to the bathroom and keep what events need to take place to yourself. 

Onara = Fart

More so considered to be a bad word rather than a curse word. A gross concept, and since we all know what a fart smells like merely hearing or reading the word “fart” will bring you right back to how grotesque a fart can be. 

Kusai Onara = Nasty Fart 

Describing a nasty or smelling fart that either you or someone has let out. You could also be describing something that wasn’t a fart but smells just as bad. 

Debu = Fatty/Fat Person/Fat Ass

A derogatory term to describe a person who is considered to be overweight. The person might not even be overweight, but no matter the case, it is rude and deemed to be quite the curse word. 

Shinjimae = Go to Hell/Drop Dead

Major yikes, because if someone said this to you what would you really do? One of the ultimate ways to express hatred is to quite literally wish them dead or tell them to go straight to eternal damnation. 

Shinee = Die

It’s a simple, short, straight-to-the-point version of “Shinjimae”/Drop Dead. In this case, you would most likely be using it to directly tell someone to go die.

Good on you for being outspoken and confident in your opinions and desires for other individuals and their futures.

That Japanese Man Yuta Explains Japanese Swear Words

MT Lee
My fascination with Japan began several years back at a roadside bonsai stand while on vacation. I became more interested in the where and why's more than the trees themselves. My love of Bonsai led me to further research my interest in the gardens where they originated from and the places and people that surrounded those little trees. My curiosity was well rewarded upon visiting Saitama where the National Bonsai Museum was located and Omiya Village the bonsai mecca for lovers of this ancient art form. Exploring many towns and villages and even making my way to Japan's furthest southern prefecture of Okinawa. I hope to share my love of this wonderful and exotic place with all those who want to know more about Japan.